Does YOUR Publisher Know How to Avoid This Royalty Theft Scam?

Does YOUR Publisher Know How to Avoid This Royalty Theft Scam?

BookLocker has been in business for 26 years now. And, I’ve learned a lot over the years. One of the first things I learned was to never accept requests from authors via email if they aren’t using the email address we have on file for them. When I received the very first email years and years ago (similar to the one below), I knew something smelled funny. None of our authors has ever been scammed like this because we’ve had this rule in place since day one.

One such request came in last week. Here it is:

Hello ,

I need to update my direct deposit information on file with a new account due to recent changes. What specific details do you need from me to make this update?

(Name removed)

The email was signed using the name of one of our authors. That author in particular has published 11 books through BookLocker over the years so I know him well. Also, neither my name (nor anybody’s name) is typed after “hello.” There is a space between Hello and the comma. That indicates someone is using a program to send out mass emails that appear to be personalized. This scammer screwed up on the first line. However, the name of the author was coded at the bottom and that worked.

The biggest red flag was that the email address was not the one we have on file for our author. Also, this author prefers to be paid via paypal. We don’t have his bank information so we can’t “change” that. So, I sent the person this form email that I use ALL the time:

Hi (name removed),

You contacted us from the wrong email address.

In order to request a copy of your login info., or to change your contact info., you must submit that request from the email address you used when you signed on with Booklocker. We can’t give confidential author account info. to anyone without confirmation of their identity.

One man contacted us one day and asked for his father’s login info., saying his dad had died and that he’d left his copyrights to the son in the will. We contacted the author and he was still very much alive.

Another time a man pretending to be an author tried to trick us into giving him the author’s account info. Turns out he was suing the author for something completely unrelated, and was trying to figure out how much money the author was making.

I’m telling you all of this so you can understand how sensitive financial info. is for authors and why we can’t give it out to someone who contacts us from a different email than the author had when he/she signed up.

If you no longer have access to your old email, you will need to either find the login info. in your files, or you will need to send us a notarized letter asking us to change your login info. to your new email address., Inc.
12441 N. Main Street, #38
Trenton, GA 30752-9998

If you want to attempt the login (if you remember your old email address and password), you already have the link to get into your author account.

We can only accept an email address change request if that is submitted through your author account.

What I also always do is blind carbon copy the author on the email using the email address that we DO have on file for him/her. For this author in particular, we had two email addresses on file. One for him and one for his daughter. I also posted the exchange to the author’s account so, if he didn’t receive the email for some reason (sp*m filters), there would be a record of the exchange there.

I immediately received an email from the author’s daughter. She wrote:

Hi Angela —
I think someone is trying to impersonate my father to get information from Booklocker from a fake email address. I’ve told my father to contact you from his valid email address!

Uh huh. My suspicions were correct. I also heard from the author when he logged into his author account later that day. He, too, confirmed it was a scam. Since this person specifically was offering up bank account info., the scammer assumed I just fell off the turnip truck, and that I’d just start sending this author’s royalties to the scammer’s bank account.

If a publisher doesn’t have these safeguards in place, they or one of their employees might mistakenly give access to the author account to the scammer. There, the scammer can change the author’s contact info., their address or Paypal ID (for royalty payments), and more, including obtaining copies of the authors’ files. If your publisher keeps your bank info. in your author account in their system (we do NOT do that), the scammer can obtain that information, too.

If you’ve had your book published elsewhere, I urge you to share this article with your publisher, and ask them what safeguards they have in place to protect you, your royalties, and your book files.



Angela is not only the publisher of She is President & CEO of,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.


Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."

Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors. - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!

Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.

Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)

See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.


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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE